Hoteliers Support Local Charity!

The Irish Hotel Federation’s, recent Galway Hospitality Ball which was held in the Galmont Hotel was a celebration of the best of local produce and raffle proceeds from the night were donated to support the work of Croí Heart and Stroke Charity.

Pictured at the presentation of raffle proceeds from the recent Irish Hotel Federation’s, Galway Hospitality Ball, photo shows; (left to right) Neil Johnson and Christine Flanagan, Croí with Karen Jones, Director of Sales & Marketing and Andrew Drysdale, General Manager, Galmont Hotel, Galway


Dietitian Q&A

Are medium chain triglycerides good or bad?

Coconut oil is a source of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) (this is the scientific way of describing the type of fat based on its chemical composition), however the main type of MCT found in coconut oil, lauric acid acts more like a saturated fat. Saturated fats raise LDL-cholesterol (i.e. the bad type of cholesterol). All saturated fats raise LDL-cholesterol and high LDL-cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.


Are all saturated fats the same for example coconut oil?

Coconut oil contains about 92% saturated fat and butter contains about 63%. Because of this, they are not considered to be heart healthy. In comparison, olive oil contains only 15% saturated fat and rapeseed oil only about 8%. The remainder is made of the healthier types of fat which are the monounsaturated fats (found in olive and rapeseed oil) and polyunsaturated fats (found in sunflower oil). These types of fat are the preferred choices for heart health as they lower levels of LDL-cholesterol but increase the levels of HDL-cholesterol (i.e. the good type of cholesterol).


Is lauric acid  anti-inflammatory?

There is insufficient evidence to show anti-inflammatory properties of lauric acid in humans, and any potential anti-inflammatory properties would likely be offset by the high saturated fat content of coconut oil.  Fruit and vegetables are proven to be anti-inflammatory and so aim to include a variety of fruit, vegetables and salad in your daily diet (5-7 servings/day).

Read more information on following a heart healthy diet using the Mediterranean approach. Other good resources visit and for information on portion sizes of fruit, vegetables and salad check out Healthy Ireland.


Suzanne Seery, Croí Lead Dietitian


CPR Training

Parents, Schools and General Public

As a parent, a school teacher or a member of the public, you could be the person who comes across an infant, a child or an adult who has stopped breathing, is choking or their heart has stopped. Would you be confident with what to do? The NIPC provides a range of training programmes ranging from short taster sessions right through to certified qualifications in lifesaving skills. Regular courses are delivered in the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Galway. Training by the NIPC in lifesaving skills can also be delivered in venues elsewhere on request. Give people a better chance of survival and sign up today!

Cardiac First Responder (CFR) Qualification

The NIPC offers an internationally and nationally recognised qualification especially designed for people working in community settings, parents, teachers, and members of the general public. The certification lasts for a 2-year period following successful completion.

This course lasts 6 hours. It is run in groups of 6 and individuals or group bookings can be made. Regular courses are delivered in the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre. The course can also be delivered in venues elsewhere on request.

Who is this course designed for?

This certified course is designed especially for people working in community settings, parents, school teachers and members of the general public. This course is not suitable for healthcare professionals (such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists) working in hospitals or clinical settings.

Course content:

  • How to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) in adults, children and infants.
  • How to manage choking in all age groups
  • How to recognise and manage a heart attack
  • When and how to administer aspirin correctly
  • How to recognise a stroke and what action is required
  • How to manage an unconscious person, including use of the recovery position

Next date for CPR training is June 20th book here

Cycling Tips for the weekend

2 weeks to the Tour de Lough Corrib Charity Cycle in aid of Croí. Fueling your cycle is of utmost importance we have some top tips below!

Eating well for physical activity and sport can have many benefits including:

  • Allowing you to perform well in your chosen sport or activity;
  • Reducing the risk of injury and illness;
  • Ensuring the best recovery after exercise or a training programme.

A healthy diet for sport and exercise should contain plenty of starchy foods, plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein foods and some dairy foods. It is also important to stay hydrated.

Foods for fuel and exercise


The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy.

When they are digested, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose to provide readily available energy for the body to use quickly and effectively. Carbohydrates are the most important form of fuel for exercise and sports activities. By not having adequate carbohydrate in your diet for exercise, you may feel tired and lacking in energy and not be able to perform at your best. So, regular intake of carbohydrate-rich foods is important to keep stores topped up. The correct food choices can help ensure the body has enough energy for activity, as well as help aid recovery.

Starchy foods are an important source of carbohydrates in our diet. Wholegrain varieties also provide fibre, which is important for digestive health, and a range of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, iron, calcium and folate.

Good sources of carbohydrates in the diet include:

  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereals and porridge oats
  • Pasta, noodles
  • Rice
  • Couscous
  • Potatoes (with skins) and other starchy vegetables (e.g. sweetcorn)
  • Beans and pulses

Starchy foods should make up around a third of the food we eat. Fruit and milk contain carbohydrates in the form of sugars and can help to provide the body with a quick source of energy. They also contain many additional vitamins and minerals that help to keep us healthy. Starchy foods, especially high fibre varieties provide a slower release of energy and take longer to digest, so it’s a good idea to include some in every meal.

Estimated carbohydrate needs are outlined and depend on the intensity and duration of the exercise sessions:

Duration of sport of Exercise Sessions
Recommended intake (per kg body weight per day)*

3-5 hours per week

5-7 hours per week

1-2 hours per day

2 + hours per day

*These requirements are general and consideration of energy needs and type of exercise should be considered.

Try not to meet your requirements by packing your entire carbohydrate intake into one meal. Spread out your intake over breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that fit around planned exercise.


Protein is also important for health and physical activity. The main role of protein in the body is for growth, repair and maintenance of body cells and tissues, such as muscle.

Different foods contain different amounts and different combinations of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Essential amino acids are those that the body cannot make itself and so are needed from the diet. The full range of essential amino acids needed by the body (high protein quality) is found in:

  • Animal sources – meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt.
  • Plant sources – soy, tofu, quinoa and mycoprotein e.g. Quorn™.
  • As some high protein foods can also be high in saturated fat, it is important to choose lower fat options, such as lean meats or lower fat versions of dairy foods.
  • Most vegans get enough protein from their diets, but it is important to consume a variety of plant proteins to ensure enough essential amino acids are included.
  • The protein requirements of a normal adult are 0.75g per kilogram of body weight per day. For strength and endurance athletes, protein requirements are increased to around 1.2-1.7g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. If you are participating in regular sport and exercise like swimming/running or go to the gym on a regular basis, then your protein requirements may be slightly higher than the general sedentary population, in order to promote muscle tissue growth and repair. However, most people in the UK consume more than the recommended amount of protein, so increasing your protein intake is generally unnecessary.
  • Consuming a healthy, varied diet containing nutrient dense foods will ensure you get enough protein without the use of protein supplements or special high-protein eating strategies, even if your needs are a little higher! But try and spread your protein intake throughout the day.


Fat is an essential nutrient for the body, but it is also a rich source of energy. Consuming too much fat can lead to excess energy intake which can lead to weight gain over time. It is important to follow current healthy eating guidelines, ensuring fat intakes are no more than 35% of total energy intake from food, with saturated fat intakes not exceeding 11% of total energy intake from food. Fats in foods typically contain a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, but choosing foods which contain higher amounts of unsaturated fat, and less saturated fat, is preferable. Most of us eat too much saturated fat so to cut back on intakes, limit foods such as:

  • Pastries, cakes, puddings
  • Chocolate and biscuits
  • Some savoury snacks
  • Cream, coconut cream and ice-cream
  • Hard cheeses including cheddar
  • Butter, lard, ghee, suet, palm oil and coconut oil
  • Processed meats like sausages, ham, burgers and fatty cuts of meat
  • Fried foods including fried chips

Choose low fat options and foods containing unsaturated fat where possible. Replacing saturated fat with some monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Good sources of these fats include vegetable oils such as olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils, avocados, nuts and seeds. Polyunsaturated fats provide us with essential fatty acids like omega 3 which are found in sunflower, flaxseed and linseed oil and walnuts, but it is the long chain omega 3 fatty acids which are associated with heart health and these are found in oily fish (e.g. mackerel, salmon and sardines).

How to stay well hydrated

Sufficient fluid intake is essential for exercise and optimum recovery. Exercising causes the body to get warmer, so the body tries to cool down by sweating. This causes the loss of water and salts through the skin.

The amount an individual sweats varies from person to person and depends on:

  • Intensity and duration – longer and higher intensity exercise can cause greater sweat loss.
  • Environmental temperature – in hot, humid conditions sweat loss can increase.
  • Clothing – the more clothing that is worn, the quicker you are likely to heat up which may cause greater sweat loss.
  • Genetics – some people are just more likely to sweat than others.

Generally, the more a person sweats, the more they will need to drink.

Small water losses are not harmful. However, dehydration (water loss in excess of 2-3% body mass) can cause tiredness and hinder performance by reducing strength and aerobic capacity (especially in longer duration exercise), as well as having a negative effect on any further exercise sessions. So, try and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration – water is generally best.

Published by British Nutrition Foundation

On Yer Bike for Croí

Up to 1,000 cyclists are expected to participate in the 24th annual ‘Tour de Lough Corrib Charity Cycle’ in aid of local Heart & Stroke Charity which takes place on Sunday, June 10th 2018.

This year, the annual cycling sportif offers a choice of a choice of a 45km, 80km or 120km route so here is something for all abilities. Since its inception the event has been sponsored by local company Corrib Oil. In recent years, associate sponsorship has been provided by Al Hayes Motors, Tuam; Caragh Precision and Velocity Cycles, Oranmore.

Pre-registration is advisable – For further information and to register please click here! 


Pictured at the Corrib Oil Service Station Castlebar, launching this year’s Annual ‘Tour de Lough Corrib Charity Cycle’ in aid of local Heart & Stroke Charity which takes place on Sunday, June 10th 2018, photo shows: (Left to right) Frank Murphy (Claremorris); Mairead Ryan, Teresa Fadden, Patricia Loftus, Peter Duffy (Castlebar) all staff from Corrib Oil with Event Organiser, Edwina Treacy Croí
European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Croí joins European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

The initiative to create the first European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day follows the example of the US, where the first awareness day was introduced on the 22 February 2017 by the Alliance for Aging Research.

The European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day will be held for the first time on the 8 September 2018 and aims to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease in Europe.

The project is supported by a group of European patient societies including:

The work in order to establish a European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is supported by a Steering Group which consists of representatives of patient groups and experts in the field of heart valve disease – full list here.

A recent survey of more than 8,860 adults across Europe found that aortic stenosis is the heart condition people over 60 years old are least familiar with. Only 7% of respondents know what aortic stenosis is – the most common form of heart valve disease. Although awareness increases with age, 30 percent of respondents over the age of 65 say they know nothing about heart valve disease.

Often heart valve disease patients are diagnosed only because they see a health care professional for a regular check-up or for some other issue.

The seriousness of heart valve disease, combined with the fact that the symptoms are often difficult to detect or dismissed as a normal part of ageing, means that this lack of awareness can have troublesome or dangerous consequences.

This is why European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day is so important, not only to raise awareness of the disease but to also make the population more aware of the symptoms so they can get the help they need at the right time. It is also important that clinicians provide their patients, especially those who are over the age of 65, with regular stethoscope exams as these are the key to detecting the disease.

Please mark September, 2018 in your calendar and get involved in spreading the word about heart valve disease.

For more information about heart valve disease visit the website of Heart Valve Voice.

Cardio Alianza turns Spain Red for Heart Failure Awareness Week

In Spain, Cardio Alianza has coordinated ‘Heart Failure Week’ with planned events throughout 7 Cities taking place from the 7th to 11th of May as part of the Acting on Heart Failure campaign. Our alliance members in Spain have coordinated the support of the Mayors of Barcelona, Vitoria, Girona, Valladolid, A Coruña, Sevilla and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. These cities have pledged to host a series of awareness days throughout the week with information booths about Heart Failure and its symptoms and will also include patient education sessions, where patients gain access to cardiologists and nurses to help increase their knowledge and offer advice on managing and controling the condition. These events will showcase the signature theme of red, a visual symbol of the City’s support of Heart Failure.

As part of a broader awareness initiative, Cardio Alianza has engaged more than 2,000 pharmacies who are supporting the campaign by providing informative Heart Failure leaflets and promotional literature to their patrons. Furthermore, they have engaged national and regional media and have been particularly active on social media networks, promoting their #mueveteporlaIC alongside iHHub’s #ActingOnHF2018 hashtag campaigns.

If you want to know more about the campaign and Cardio Alianza’s efforts, you can follow this link that contains the details of the initiative “Muévete por el corazón”:

To hear more updates about activities in Spain and the other 16 countries in the European Hub of iHHub, keep checking back here or on Facebook or Twitter.

The Heartbeat Trust are ‘Acting on Heart Failure’

The Heartbeat Trust takes part in the in the European Campaign ‘Acting on Heart Failure’.

On May 9th Councillor Tom Murphy, An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, heart failure patients, carers and their families joined the Heartbeat Trust at St Michael’s Hospital and to launch the ‘Acting on Heart Failure’ European awareness initiative.

They joined Galway, Cork, and another 37 locations across Europe to welcome this patient group-led heart failure awareness campaign. The campaign, running throughout May as the designated European Heart Failure Awareness Month, invites Mayors from across Europe to commit to raising awareness of heart failure and call for local action in their respective cities and towns to improve the lives of those living with the condition. See more at


The ‘Acting on Heart Failure’ team at in Latvia

The ‘Acting on Heart Failure’ team at in Latvia will be holding a health screening and awareness event on the 17th of May in Liepāja.  The Mayor of Uldis Sesks will open the ceremony where leading cardiologists will offer cardiac screenings and advice on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and Heart Failure.  The event will be broadcast on’s Facebook page so be sure to show your support for Latvia’s efforts on Heart Failure awareness by logging in to Facebook on the 17th of May or watching the event on the iHHub website.  Also, keep your eye on the iHHub website for updates on the progress of all our European campaigns to raise awareness for Heart Failure.

Exciting ‘Acting on Heart Failure’ events on the horizon in Germany!

There are some exciting ‘Acting on Heart Failure’ events on the horizon in Germany!  On the 26th of May, Herzschwäche Franken e.V., a Heart Failure support group in Germany, will be leading a Heart Failure Patient Day!  The mayor of Nurnberg will address guests at the event and pledge support for Heart Failure.

Four medical experts will then talk to the public and engage in a valuable Q&A session.  Having access to Heart Failure experts and hearing from them directly is a fantastic step toward raising public and political awareness of this disease.  Have a look at the event flyer and head over to Herzschwäche Franken e.V.’s Facebook page to get all the details of the event.  Don’t forget to check back in to this website to see Germany’s progress on the ‘Acting on Heart Failure’ campaign, and to see the activities of the other European countries in raising awareness for Heart Failure.